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Would I be breaking any rules if I were to use a babysitter rather than CM/ nanny?

(10 Posts)
YakkaSkink Fri 22-Jul-11 00:45:15

I've got to work (unpaid) long hours for 3 months without pay to finish a qualification and must have reliable childcare. DS has special needs and needs 1-2-1 care - I'd prefer that someone comes to our house so that he can stay in his routine and relax more, but so far I'm looking at a few options:

1) There's one CM locally who might be able to take him 1-2-1. She's got a long queue so his chances of her saying yes to him are not that high and I'm feeling a bit hmm about her as she seems very convinced that she knows everything about DS's needs (me, the school and the paed are all scratching our heads, mind you).

2) An au pair - I have a spare room and could just about afford it (loss of income from lodger + 'pocket money' + food) but I don't know if there's any way of ensuring a good one, DS is honestly better with someone more mature and a flaky one would be a disaster.

3) A nanny would be ideal but I don't think I can afford this - I've had a look at a couple of agency websites and the introduction fees look scary enough. I'm guessing a nanny would also expect £8/h ish and I'd have to pay tax and NI etc on top. Can anyone tell me how much this would really cost if I need 20h childcare a week? - before and after school.

4) Pay a friend to babysit - DS and I would prefer this as we know a couple of people I could ask who get on well with DS, and who would actually care for DS the way I'd want him to be cared for. If DS were cared for at his home and the babysitter put the money down on his/her tax return, would either of us be breaking any laws?

It's really only option 1 or 4 that I could sustain financially (though they'd cost £50pw more than a standard CM, but hey, that's probably what the DLA is for) and I'd love to find a long-term solution so I can work again. I'm assuming that 4 would only be legal as a short-term solution, as long-term I'd become my friend's employer? Or is it completely illegal anyway?

madhattershouse Fri 22-Jul-11 00:48:56

I'm probably wrong but the way I read the law is that as long as the childcare is in your own home it is classed as babysitting and not childcare. That way not ofstead ruled. If she takes your dc to her house that would be childcare and not legal. I'm sure someone will correct me later grin

YakkaSkink Fri 22-Jul-11 01:07:16

The person I'd most like to do it is self-employed already doing something entirely different (he's an artist). The other three friends I'm thinking of asking are employed (one in childcare, the others doing different things) I'm hoping that if it's a short term thing there's nothing legal in the way, but also wondering if this could become a long-term arrangement as I don't imagine it could if I have to become an employer.

nannynick Fri 22-Jul-11 06:54:51

Option 4 - only thing I can think of would be NMW and Employment Status.

How about if you didn't pay - but provided goods instead. It's then a friend helping out another friend.

PigfartsPigfartsHereICome Fri 22-Jul-11 07:04:22

As a new nanny, I would have jumped at a chance of this kind of position, gaining valuable experience with SN and (hopefully) a glowing reference. I'd have taken it on for a lower wage just to get that experience and training (I assume you would have to 'train' to some extent to get them up to date with the SN). So could be worth trying a college or anywhere with childcare training? Or post an ad saying all this on Gumtree? You may get someone good just trying to get good experience!

gizzy1973 Fri 22-Jul-11 19:28:27

If its only for 3 months so a temp contract I think you can have slf employed nanny but dont quote me on that one

YakkaSkink Sat 23-Jul-11 15:36:38

Have found out that it's actually pretty straightforward to employ someone for a short contract if I just use a payroll service and there's no legal requirement for them to be registered etc, so now I'm just looking for the right person :-)

SkelleyBones Sat 23-Jul-11 19:28:54

If they are doing work for more than one person then they can be self employed nanny, NMW I think only applies if the person is having tax deducted and NI. I have been self employed and worked for less than NMW whilst getting up and running.
4 sounds like a great solution to me.

mranchovy Sun 24-Jul-11 12:02:39

If they are doing work for more than one person then they can be self employed nanny,
Not necessarily. Employment status is very complicated - if you really want to get involved, start here, but it is safer to make them an employee.

NMW I think only applies if the person is having tax deducted and NI.
Not true. NMW applies to nearly all employees (live-in nannies and under 16s being the exceptions that could apply here). It doesn't apply to the self employed of course, because you are not paying them a wage you are paying a fee for a service - that is one of the reasons why it is unlikely that this position would be self employment.

As the OP has said, it is not difficult to have an employee, a payroll agency will sort everthing out for a small fee. It does of course cost a bit more (because you have to pay employer's NI and they cannot dodge tax), but that is the whole point.

SkelleyBones Sun 24-Jul-11 13:24:27

It might not be difficult but it's bleeding expensive which is what puts people off, unfortunate at a time when our local nursery is laying off brilliant staff who would make great nannies and offer the children a better level of attention in their own home.

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